My good blogger buddy, Jenna, is having a baby girl in October and I rounded a bunch of her other blogger buddies together to throw her a virtual celebration. After all, we are scattered across the United States, and meeting for a real baby shower is out of the question. So we’re doing the next best thing, and boy have we all got some treats for you, Miss Jenna!
Being the crazy cake lady, you’d probably assume that I’d be the one to supply the cake. Well, surprise, no cake from this corner today! There are three reasons for this:
1) After scanning Jenna’s blog to verify my recollection, there is a distinct lacking of cake to be found, so I thought maybe a different type of sweet was in order.
2) I’m a terrible procrastinator and though I invited the other guests three months ago, I only got around to making my recipe for the shower recently.
3) Because of my procrastination, I had to make something that served double-duty and could serve as both a treat for her shower and could be submitted as one of my entries into the fair, since it’s crunch time and fair baking is pretty much the only baking I’m doing right now.
Thankfully, I was able to come up with a solution! I actually first made her something else that didn’t turn out like I’d hoped, so when I realized that the cookies I was entering into the fair for the “Special Chocolate Cookies” category would be perfect with a raspberry glaze, and the pink color would also make them baby shower-suitable, I rejoiced.
I have won three ribbons for my almond fudge cookies in the last two years and this year I wanted to change them up and enter them into a new category. Since they are flourless, they are super fudgy and mostly consist of toasted almonds and chocolate. I thought adding a raspberry element would be a perfect compliment to the almond/chocolate flavors and I’m so pleased with how they turned out. The original recipe is really good. But this is even better-absolute heaven! Super chocolatey with chunks of Ghirardelli Dark & Raspberry chocolate squares throughout, the raspberry almond flavor is enhanced further by raspberry and almond extracts, and a raspberry glaze with almond garnish. I love these and Jenna, I hope you love them too!
I suspect my first creation, which involved lemon and raspberry and poppy seeds, might have been more up Jenna’s alley if it had turned out as good as it did in my imagination, and I also feel guilty for not being the cake maker for this shower since it’s pretty much understood that I’m the cake supplier for all special occasions. However, Jenna did jokingly beseech her readers to mail her some chocolate to satisfy a craving a while back. Well, these cookies are definitely chocolatey and the bonus of making them instead of a cake is that I can ship them! Be looking for them in two days, Jenna–I mailed you some this morning. Enjoy!
Raspberry Almond Fudge Cookies
Plan ahead: the cookie batter needs to be refrigerated overnight so make it the night before you plan to bake them.
1 cup raw, unsalted almonds
½ pound semisweet chocolate
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon almond extract
¼ teaspoon raspberry extract
6 Ghirardelli Dark & Raspberry Chocolate Squares, chopped
½ cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 ½ teaspoons raspberry extract
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
Sliced almonds, for garnish
Lay almonds on a microwave-safe plate and toast in microwave in 30-second intervals on high, stirring in between, 3-5 times until nuts are fragrant. Cool to room temperature. In a food processor, grind nuts until very fine, almost like flour. Set aside.
Melt the chocolate and butter together in a double boiler; remove from heat and set aside. Beat the eggs with an electric mixer on highest speed, gradually adding the sugar and salt. Continue beating until ribbons form; about 10 minutes. Fold in the chocolate-butter mixture. Gently add the ground almonds and then fold in the chopped dark & raspberry bar. Cover and refrigerate overnight or 8 hours.
Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Use a cookie scoop to form the dough into 1-inch balls. Place on the baking sheet about 2 inches apart and immediately place in the oven. Bake until the center of the cookies are no longer wet-looking, 10-14 minutes. Allow to cool one minute on sheet before removing to rack.
To make the glaze, stir the powdered sugar, cream, and extracts together until smooth. Add additional cream to thin, if necessary. Drizzle over cooled cookies and immediately sprinkle with sliced almonds.
Check out the other virtual shower bloggers!